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Char siu pork served on steamed rice close-up

Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Pork, 叉烧肉)

5 from 31 votes
The only char siu recipe you need to make juicy flavorful pork with a sweet glossy glaze, just like you’d get at a Cantonese restaurant. {Gluten-Free adaptable}
It’s possible to make the dish gluten free. Use tamari or coconut aminos to replace the soy sauce, use dry sherry instead of Shaoxing wine, make sure to use a gluten-free oyster sauce, and use honey instead of maltose.It’s possible to make the dish gluten free. Use tamari or coconut aminos to replace the soy sauce, use dry sherry instead of Shaoxing wine, make sure to use a gluten-free oyster sauce, and use honey instead of maltose.
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Marinade time: 12 hrs
Total Time: 12 hrs 50 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: takeout
Servings: 8
Author: Maggie Zhu


  • 2 to 2.5 lbs (1 kg) pork tenderloin (or pork loin)


  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 teaspoon garlic , grated
  • 1 teaspoon five spice powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 10 drops red food coloring (Optional)
  • 2 tablespoons maltose (or honey)


  • (Optional) If you’re using pork loin, cut the pork along the grain, into 2 strips about 2” (6 cm) wide and 1”(3 cm) thick. Skip this step if using tenderloin.
  • Prepare the marinade and the glaze the day before you cook.


  • In a large bowl combine the soy sauce, hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, Shaoxing wine, sugar, molasses, garlic, five spice powder, salt, and food coloring (if using). Stir to mix well.
  • Transfer the pork into a large ziplock bag. Pour 1/2 cup of the mixed sauce into the bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible and seal the bag. Massage the bag a few times so the pork pieces are covered evenly with the sauce. Transfer to the fridge and marinate overnight (highly recommended), or for at least 6 hours.

Prepare the Glaze

  • Microwave the maltose for 20 seconds or so, until the top loosens. Do NOT touch the maltose with your fingers. It’s very hot once it’s heated. Grease your tablespoon with a thin layer of oil. Transfer 2 tablespoons of maltose into a small saucepan. The oil coating on the spoon will help the maltose to fall into the pan without stuck on the spoon.
  • Add the rest mixed sauce into the same pan. Heat over medium heat and stir frequently to melt the maltose, until brought to a simmer. Turn to medium low heat. Cook for 5 minutes to thicken the sauce slightly.
  • Once done, let the sauce cool for at least 10 minutes. Carefully transfer the sauce into a heat-proof mason jar or container. Let cool for another 10 to 15 minutes. Cover and transfer into the fridge. The sauce will continue to thicken once chilled.


  • When the pork is marinated and the glaze is chilled, you’re ready to cook.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (230 C). Line a large baking tray with aluminum foil and add 1/4 inch (1/2 cm) water. Place a grilling rack on top. (Alternatively, you can grill the pork as well)
  • Transfer the pork onto the grilling track. Drizzle a few tablespoons marinating liquid onto the pork. Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Baste the pork, using a brush to dab the glaze onto the top side. Turn to the other side and dab glaze on top. Bake for 5 minutes.
  • Baste the top of the pork, and bake for another 5 minutes. Once done, you can check the doneness by inserting a thermometer into the thickest part of the pork. It should read at least 145 F (63 C). Return the pork to the oven to bake for another 5 minutes or so if needed.
  • Turn on the broiler. Broil for 3 minutes. Flip the pork to baste the other side. Broil for another 3 minutes. The pork should look glossy, lightly charred, and cooked through.
  • Once the pork is done, brush it with the rest of the glaze. Cover loosely with aluminum foil. Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
  • You can serve the pork hot over rice as a main dish, or at room temperature as a cold appetizer. It’s super delicious either way.

Storage & other uses


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 237kcal, Carbohydrates: 17.2g, Protein: 31.1g, Fat: 4.2g, Saturated Fat: 1.4g, Cholesterol: 83mg, Sodium: 878mg, Potassium: 565mg, Sugar: 13.6g, Calcium: 21mg, Iron: 2mg